DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 17, 2018
John C. Anderson
, United States Attorney

Miranda Gilbert Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing Firearm and Ammunition, and Assaulting a Federal Officer

If Deemed an Armed Career Criminal, Gilbert Faces Enhanced Sentence of Not Less Than 15 Years to Life Imprisonment

ALBUQUERQUE – Miranda Gilbert, 31, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to violating the federal firearms laws by unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition and assaulting a federal officer.  The guilty plea was announced U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief Michael Geier of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).

U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson said that Gilbert, whose criminal history includes ten prior felony convictions, is being prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets violent, repeat offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target for federal prosecution violent or repeat offenders with the goal of making communities in New Mexico safer places for people to live and work.

“Today’s proceedings are a reminder that we will never stop working to obtain justice. ATF is committed to aggressively investigating and charging armed, violent criminals in the community.  The actions, every day, by the U.S. Marshals and our other law enforcement partners to apprehend wanted, violent fugitives is as necessary as it is dangerous,” said Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti of the ATF Phoenix Field Division.  “When our law enforcement partners come up against these violent criminals and are assaulted, they can rest assured that ATF will fully investigate the firearms violations surrounding the incident.”

“It is imperative that we use the full weight of the law to prosecute dangerous, career criminals who are willing to violate federal firearm laws and assault law enforcement officers,” APD Chief Michael Geier said. “Offenders who have no regard for law enforcement are more of a threat to civilians and a risk to public safety.”

Gilbert was charged in Oct. 2017, in a criminal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Aug. 20, 2017.  According to the criminal complaint, APD officers responded to a call reporting shots fired at a residence in northeast Albuquerque.  APD officers learned that when the homeowners arrived at their home, they observed Gilbert parked in a vehicle in their driveway and attempted to block her in the driveway.  The homeowners reported that Gilbert responded by pulling a handgun out of her purse, threatening them, and then firing shots close to where one of the homeowners was standing before leaving the area.  Gilbert was arrested the next day after attempting to flee from police and ultimately causing an accident.

Gilbert was indicted on Nov. 1, 2017.  The three-count indictment charged Gilbert with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in in Bernalillo County, N.M., on Aug. 20, 2017, and in Guadalupe County, N.M., on Aug. 21, 2017, and with assaulting a federal officer in Guadalupe County on Aug. 21, 2017.  According to the indictment, Gilbert was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because she has been convicted of at least ten felony offenses.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Gilbert pled guilty to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement. 

During its presentation at today’s hearing, the United States proffered a summary of the evidence that it would have been introduced had the case proceeded to trial.  That evidence would have included the firearm, a 9 mm caliber pistol, Gilbert possessed, brandished, and discharged in Bernalillo County on Aug. 20, 2017, and also possessed in Guadalupe County on Aug. 21, 2017.  The evidence also would have established that on Aug. 21, 2017, in Guadalupe County, Gilbert forcibly assaulted a Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal, whom she knew to be engaged in the performance of his official duty based upon her own post-arrest statements made to law enforcement authorities.  As Gilbert fled from law enforcement authorities, in an attempt to avoid apprehension, Gilbert used a vehicle as a dangerous weapon and struck the Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal, who was inside his vehicle and was required to take evasive action.

The United States’ proffer of evidence also included Gilbert’s ten prior felony convictions:

  • residential burglary;
  • conspiracy to commit residential burglary;
  • trafficking controlled substances (possession with intent to distribute) (heroin);
  • receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle (possession);
  • conspiracy to commit receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle (possession);
  • receiving or transferring stolen property (over $500 but not more than $2,500);
  • escape from a community custody release program;
  • possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine);
  • conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine); and
  • felon in possession of a firearm.

At sentencing, Gilbert faces a maximum statutory penalty of ten years of imprisonment on each of the two felon in possession of firearms charges.  However, if the court determines that Gilbert is an armed career criminal, she faces an enhanced sentence of a mandatory minimum 15 years to a maximum of life imprisonment on the firearms charges.  Gilbert also faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment on the assault on a federal officer charge. 

Gilbert remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

The Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the APD investigated the case with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, New Mexico State Police, and the New Mexico Adult Probation and Parole Division of the New Mexico Corrections Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito is prosecuting the case. 

Phoenix Field Division